tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN December 14, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent we proceed to executive session, that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations, that any related statements be printed in the record, that the the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that the senate immediately resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent that we now proceed to a period of morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i made a mistake, mr. president. i thought it was the normal script and it's changed. i ask unanimous consent that following morning business tomorrow morning, the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 337,
that there be 30 minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form. upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate resume legislative session at a time to be determined by the majority leader, in consultation with the republican leader, the senate return to executive session, resume consideration of the nomination and there be an additional two minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form prior to vote on calendar number 337, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate, that no further motion be in order to the nomination, any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record, that president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action. the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, as the chair knows, calendar number 337 is morgan christen of alaska. i ask unanimous consent that the foreign relations committee be discharged from h.r. 515. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 515, an act to reauthorize the belarus
democracy act of 2004. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. reid: i ask the kerry amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill be read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. is there further debate? if not, all in favor say aye. mr. reid: aye. the presiding officer: all opposed say nay. the ayes have it. the motion -- the bill as amended is agreed to. mr. reid: i ask consent the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate and any statements relating to this matter be placed at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 161. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 161, h.r. 1892, an act to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2012 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the united states government, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i further ask the feinstein amendment, which is a
substitute, it's at the desk, be agreed to, the bill as amended be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate, that any statements related to this matter be printed in the record at the appropriate place. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent the appointment at the desk be -- it appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. that's december 15. that following the prayer and the pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning business be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for an hour, senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with republicans controlling the first half, the majority controlling the final half.
following morning business, the senate proceed to executive session under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask that h.r. 3630 be read for the second time. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: h.r. 3630, an act to provide incentives for the creation of jobs, and for other purposes. mr. reid: i would object to any further proceedings at this time. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, we expect to consider d.o.d. authorization conference report tomorrow. also to consider the house republican payroll tax version or some version thereof. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate will stand adjourned senate will stand adjourned
rick perry and rick santoru hosted by mike huckabee. the group is gathering for the discussion and watch a pro-life documentary produced by citizens united. >> anybody that knows me knows i don't travel the state alone. i always have my basket of babies with me. unplanned, unintended, and inconvenient. society deviced such incompetitivewords for a baby in a mother's womb. every time they use those words, there's a unique hand crafted soul. it was 1972 in new york where abortion was legal since 1970. there, a 15-year-old girl fell in love with a teenage boy, was standing pressure from school officials and others.
they decided to give that child life. i'm here tonight to tell you i was unplanned. i was unintended, and i was inconvenient, but two teenagers made a selfless life changing decision. my parents just celebrated their 39th anniversary. [applause] iowa's planned parenthood of the heartland has a plan for those labeled unplanned, unintended, and inconvenient. in 2008, they implemented their own first in the nation scheme where young women can walk into any clinic across the state of iowa and through the ninth week of her pregnancy initiate a web cam abortion. there's no appointment, walk-in abortions happen throughout the state with no doctor present. consulting only by web cam from someplace else.
did you know at nine weeks with a heart beating already from 18 days, everything is in place in this little child, now about two inches long. the baby just needs time to grow. are it's a set of chemicals designed to starve the child. the second set of pills taken alone expels the dead baby days later. it was that's not frightening enough, planned parenthood of the heartland does not follow fda protocol. these abortions are more traumatizing for women. our women are left to deal with their dead baby alone. we know this from susan thayer, a former planned parenthood manager from storm lake, iowa,
who called in 2008 to tell us about this. in recent weeks, we have learned that our precious, distraught women, not knowing what to do, one devastated woman is keeping her baby's corpse in her freezer, and another tossed hers into a local suer. planned parenthood of the heartland with close to 30 clinics littering our state recently swallowed up nebraska, arkansas, and eastern oklahoma. make no mistake, they intend to unleash web cam abortions across every corner of our country. the largest expansion of abortion since roe v. wade. if that's not enough, we know the medical director of the parenthood heartland dismembers of iowa babies alive. this was her testimony before the supreme court, and she trains our university medical students in iowa city.
abortions through all nine months here in the state of iowa is a very big business. planned parenthood is not an organization to be trusted with our daughters, our granddaughters, our sisters, and friends. they don't even care enough about our women to have a doctor present. every single life born and unborn is a gift, a gift that should be celebrated and welcomed into this world, and every single born woman deserves better than abortion. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome the president of the family leader, bob vander plaats. [applause] >> thank you, and thank you for coming out tonight.
well, it's four years later. i'm still involved in the iowa caucuses, and i think it's high time that governor huckabee comes back to the state of iowa. tonight, the family leader along with citizens united and mike huckabee are pleased to participate in this event. really, the corner stone of our issues. i was 16 years old laying on the living room floor watching tv. the phone rang, and my mom went, and she got the phone, and i continued watching tv. it was my sister on the other end of the line, and she was obviously upset, but i had no idea why only to find out later she was upset because she was inpreeing nateed with her fourth child, and it was definitely
unplanned, and i kept watching tv on that living room floor, and i do remember my mom's words, and they struck me to the core. because she said, now, listen, listen, just listen, she's trying to calm down my sister -- just listen, we didn't want bob either. [laughter] i thought, are you kidding me? [laughter] she said, now, what would life be without him? [laughter] you see, i have good news tonight, you, me, everybody, we're special. we're special because we're made in the image of god. just a little bit lower than the angels. we are special. david cries out in psalm139, you
created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. i praise you because i am fearfully and wonderfully made. all of the days that you have ordained for me are written in your book before one of them comes to be. you see, if god has written and ordained our days in his book before one of them came to be, my guess is he's got a plan for that life. i believe we thwart god's plan when we inject ourselves and we decide when life can begin and life can end. you see, the sanctity of human life is not some made up thing that the family leader came up with, or that citizens united came up with, or that huckabee came up with. it's not our standard. it is god's standard.
thus, the sanctity of human life must be embraced by our candidates. it must be embraced by our officials, office holders, our pastors, our family, and our society. when i was traveling one day with congressman ron paul, i remember at the university of iowa, which is not a bashton for conservatism -- [laughter] he basically told the people at the university of iowa if you get the sanctity of human life right, you'll get pretty much everything else right, but if you get this one wrong, you're probably going to get a lot of other things wrong, and he was speaking of golf course an ob/gyn doctor and delivering 4,000 babies. you see, i believe that to be true. it is the cornerstone of everything we do. if we get it right, a lot of things go right, we'll be
blessed as a country and as a society. if we get this wrong, i believe we're going to get a lot of other things wrong, and we should not expect god's richest blessings on us either if we get it wrong. [applause] our founders and framers listed life as the first of the inalienable rights. why? because that's how important it is. life was first before liberty. it was number one. it was life, and tonight, we are blessed to have four candidates who are committed to all human life, all human life. wouldn't it be refreshing to have a president of the united states who fully understood who creates life, who gives life, and embraces and cherishes the sanctity of human life? [cheers and applause]
notice i said all human life. you saw alisha up here saying the pledge of allegiance. you'll see her in the documentary. all human life. many of you know my story with our third son, lucas, born with significant disabilities and at 18 today, cannot walk or talk, major seizure disorders, a lot of issues, but he's a dynamic, dynamic blessing why our life. we are blessed with four boys but she argues she has five and we have four. [laughter] i still catch myself around holiday time saying to the boys, guys, remember, i love you all. i love all four of you. i love lance, josh, lucas,
payback -- i mean, logan -- [laughter] but there's days where i only like lucas. [laughter] all life. rick santorum has a great story with his daughter, bella. see, it bothers me that when some of those in our society believe lives like lucas and lives like bella are less than and maybe they don't deserve life. let me remind you of john 9: 1-3. the design les d di sign ms happen upon a blind man, and they had a real question for jesus saying who sinned? did this guy sin to cause his blindness? did his parents sin? you see, they had a guilt
association with somebody had to have sinned to create this guy's disability, this guy's blindness. remember jesus' comment? no one sinned. no one sinned. he went on saying the purpose of the life is so the work of god might be displayed. the work of god might be displayed. you see, we serve a perfect god, and although lucas and bella and other children don't look perfect, but maybe the response we have to those children and embracing their life is the perfection that god seeks. [applause] do me a favor tonight, as you welcome the candidates and listen to them and you listen to governor mike huckabee and you watch this documentary, that you
leave here tonight steadfast to the sanctity of human life so god's plan wouldn't be thwarted and that god would have reason again to bless this great country we call the united states. thank you so much for being here. [applause] >> please welcome co-host, david bosey, president of citizens united. >> thank you, bob, that was great. [applause] it is now my distinct pleasure and my honor to introduce to you the united states representative from the sixth district of minnesota and my good friend michele bachmann. [applause]
>> good evening, everyone. thank you so much for making the appreciation for life your priority to be here tonight, and i'm so grateful for this wonderful event that was put together, and by the way, merry christmas to everyone who is here tonight. [cheers and applause] of all seasons, this is the season where we celebrate life and birth, the birth of our savior, jesus christ. our kinsmen redeemer, the one who came to give his life as a sacrifice for us so that we can find a way where there was no way to come back to the father, the father who gave us his very life in the beginning, who formed adam out of the ground from dust and breathed into his nostrils so that the first life was known at that time in the
garden of eden. isn't life precious? i'm so thankful for that gift. here we are talking about the upcoming president reel -- presidential race in 2012, and as far as i'm concerned, this is the seminal issue of our time. life and what we do with the issue of life. [applause] this issue is not just a box we check. it's not a bone that we throw some way, and too often, those of us who called ourselves pro-life have found ourselves on the receiving end from politicians where they tell us they are going to do something and why is it that it's the pro-lifers that are told to stand against the wall, maybe later we'll get to your issue. i'm here to tell you tonight as president of the united states,
pro-lifers will never again be sent to stand against the wall. we will advance the cause of life in my administration. [applause] the number one way that we will advance and cause life is the full scale 100% repeal of obamacare. [cheers and applause] this is so important because in obamacare for the first time in the history of the united states, we have taxpayer funded abortions. that has never happened before in the history of the united states. as a matter of fact, we have the hyde amendment that prevented more abortions than probably anything else that was done in
washington, d.c., but now under president obama, we have thee most pro-abortion president that we've ever had in our nation, and with the president michele bachmann, you will have thee most pro-life president that we would ever have in our nation. [applause] we know president obama's the most pro-abortion because when he was a state senator, he wouldn't even get behind the born alive act, a child can literally be fully born, and president obama still was the only person in his legislation that couldn't bring himself to protect that fully born baby. he's been truthful to his word. he's remained the most pro-abortion president, not only in obamacare do we have taxpayer funded abortion, but we also have for the first time chemical
abortions that will be fully covered under obamacare, and this last august 1st, in the most stunning display of raw power, president obama said this, he ordered all private insurance companies to offer for the first time because he said so, all contraceptives, all birth control devices, and also the morning after abortion pill to anyone who wants it without a co-pay and free of charge, and we just saw several weeks ago that his administration was willing to put the pill called plan b, essentially a three-day pill they put in grocery store aisles where little girls could find it next to bubble gum and next to candy. ..
but we aren't ever going to allow that to happen because 2012 is it. this can be the election, when we realize our dreams of not only advancing incrementally, but taking a quantum leap in the pro-life fight because with one fail swoop if we repeal obamacare, we will repeal taxpayer funding of abortion and we will repeal planned parenthood essentially having an
open field day in every public school classroom in the united states. because that is also what obamacare does. under my administration, planned parenthood will be 100% fully defunded, $300 million gone. [applause] planned parenthood is one of the most political organizations in the united states. this is an organization that is in great deal of -- what would you say? as president of the united unitd states, i believe that life as i said must be protected from conception until natural death. this is again for me not something that is political. it's all of life and i believe
the first president of the united states who has willingly participated with the lord god almighty and bringing human life, not only once but five times. we have five biological children that we are so grateful for and we also have another child that is in heaven today, one they came to us and ended its life in the form of a miscarriage. that baby was 12 weeks old and i want you to know that happened while i was with a doctor in the hospital and the doctor place that baby on a towel and said that beautiful child who is a human being in my hand on that towel. that baby was perfect. i know without a shadow of a doubt every baby that god creates is perfect. because we are created in the image and likeness of a holy god. there is nothing that god creates that isn't perfect.
all of life is perfect. i will protect that life not only is one who has had the thrill of participating in the process of birth but also one who believes down to my toes and how important this is, not just talking the talk but walking the walk. when we were 19 we heard dr. frances schaeffer who said that abortion is the watershed issue of our time and i agree with that, that it is. we had stood outside pro-life centers in the middle of winter counseling and praying with women. we took unwed mothers into our home. we drove them to pro-life centers. i held women's hands as i went to the childbirth experience with them and also my husband and i have broken hearts were at risk kids so we took 23 foster children into our home, whom we raised and lovingly launched them off into the world. you see our god has drafted all of us into his tree of life and now it is our chance to stand up
for life. thank you for this opportunity to be with you tonight. we can't get this wrong in 2012. we have to choose wisely and we have to choose life. merry christmas everyone and thank you for allowing me to be with you. i love you all. god bless you. merry christmas. [applause] >> the please welcome the 58 speaker of the house of representatives, newt gingrich. [applause] [applause]
>> well first of all thank you all very much for coming out tonight. it is a terrific opportunity for me to be here with dave bossy and citizens united who produced this film and somewhere out there, i am not quite sure where he is sitting is kevin knobloch. right here, kevin is a very dear friend of ours and made second -- seven documentaries with him and i regard him very highly. i think you will find this to be a very powerful film that will have a big impact. i just talked to governor huckabee in the back and thanking him for doing this. these movies really matter and they really matter for a very practical reason. we are engaged in a cultural struggle with a secular e.u. lead that believes that life is random and has no moral meaning. and the whole reasoning behind roe v. wade is a utilitarian
phony science reasoning that has collapsed under the weight of modern technology. and the fact is as the country became more and more aware of the meaning of roe v. wade it has turned more and more against abortion and this has been a cultural thing. it is normal everyday people saying no, this is wrong and it goes to the heart of what it means to be an american. the fact is the base of this country, the key to american exceptionalism is the declaration of independence, which says we hold these truths to be self-evident. that we are all created equal and we are endowed by our creator. with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. that is central to defining an american. your rights come from god to
each one of you personally and they are in alienable. that means no judge, no bureaucrats no politician can get between you and the rights god has given you. that means the defining when you become the person is central to the whole question. after all of the state can decide you're only a person when the state declares it, then why stop at roe v. wade? why not go to euthanasia? why not decide if you are -- at 14 or 12 or 10? that is why at its heart, this is the central moral question of our lifetime. now, should you decide that i should be your nominee and should i end up as president, there are three parallel facts that immediately start moving us in the right direction. the first track is on the very
first day about two hours after the inaugural to sign a series of executive orders. one of the very first executive orders will reinstate ronald reagan's mexico city policy of no u.s. money going to pay for abortion anywhere in the world. [applause] a second executive order will reinstate president george w. bush's conscience policy that says no doctor, no nurse, no pharmacist, no hospital can be forced to perform a procedure against their religious beliefs. [applause] at the very same time legislation on that first day will go up to the congress, asking it to defund planned
parenthood and put all of the money into adoption services to give young women the choice of life rather than the choice of death. [applause] and finally, we will aggressively pursue the strategy that professor rob george of princeton has raised which is the 14th amendment clearly allows the congress to define personhood, and that should mean that we can pass a bill defining personhood as beginning at conception and you don't need a constitutional amendment. it is written in the 14th amendment. it would be an act of congress and you can put in the same legislation blocking the courts from reviewing it which is a procedure the jeffersonians used in 1802 and clearly as part of the constitution. that could once and for all fundamentally re-center of this debate where it ought to be because the minute you start
saying to people alright, when do you think life begins? what do you think happens if a pregnant woman is attacked and the baby dies? is it a baby or is it an accident of the state? that frankly to me was the final defining moment. i believe that a woman is carrying a baby. i don't believe that woman is carrying an instrument to be defined by the state and i believe we have an obligation to protect that baby. [applause] and this film -- [applause] this film is going to be a major step in the right direction of educating and reaching people in their heart, which enables them to then open up their head. i think it is going to be very profound and very effective and i'm honored to be here tonight. kevin once again i am so thrilled with your work and i'm delighted to be here with you. thank you all very much. [applause]
>> the please welcome the governor of the great state of texas, governor rick perry. [applause] >> hi guys, gals, how do you. it is an honor to be here with you tonight and i told somebody, i said just think about being in iowa in december. [laughter] you have to have the real reason to be here. and i got here in the weather was so magnificent. i called my wife and i told her
honey, it's 54 degrees. that is just awesome. is like telling somebody to come to texas in august. maybe not. let me say how honored i am to be with the men and women tonight who are truly on the front lines of renewing our culture in this country and that is exactly what you do and what you are all about, and i want to extend my sincere thanks to a man that i have had the great privilege to get to know in a personal way and travel to iraq and afghanistan with him as a governor and a person who daily still makes a difference in this country, strengthening our country's core because of what is in his heart. that is governor huckabee. [applause]
and to citizens united, just i mean for producing this gnome and for sharing the inspiring message that it has and sharing it with a culture that is so desperately needs to hear this. you know, we are in troubling economic times. i mean, you know these pocketbook issues take center stage in the national dialogue that we are having. you know it's hard to think about anything else when you are sitting around your coffee table and you are one of 13 million people who don't have a job and you come home and your children look at you and you still haven't the dignity to kate take care of in the way that you want to. one out of -- if you are one of those 45 million americans that are on food stamps today, i understand the great angst that is in peoples hearts about these economic times we are in?
but conservatives and people of faith disengage from the great moral debate of our time at the expense of the moral fiber of our great nation. we cannot disengage from that great debate. i often wonder what our founding fathers would think about america if they were to be able to see it again today and the greatest distance that we have drifted from their vision of a land where life is in an alienable right, granted not by the institution of man but by the grace of god. the fact is, america is a nation founded upon the principle that human life is sacred and it must be defended. our belief in the dignity of
human life is not only written into the declaration of independence, it is evident by the actions of brave men and women of every generation who have risked their two days for someone else's tomorrow. protecting the lives in many cases of people they have never met and would never meet. we defend freedom. because our founders knew it is the birthright of every human being created in the image of god. while the men and women of our nation's military defend america's founding principles abroad, those same values come under attack right here at home. we now have a president who has mandated that religious groups provide their employees with insurance coverage for abortion,
even if it is against their religious beliefs. this administration stopped providing millions in federal aid to catholic charities because they refuse to provide abortions service. or consider this example in my home state. this year, i was proud to fight for and to sign a state budget that defunded planned parenthood. [applause] since then there have been 10 planned parenthood clinic's that have shut down. [applause] but this week, the obama administration, they declared
that texas has violated federal law and if texas has refused to support the president's pro-abortion agenda with their tax dollars, we could lose millions of dollars in health care funding. i can assure you of one thing, if washington d.c. is looking for a fight, they found one. [applause] [applause] i'm not going to back down from the side as a governor and i've had the great honor to be the president of the mac you can bet i won't back down is your president either. i will and taxerpayer money funded abortions. [applause] and i will do something else. i will work to and lifetime
appointments for federal judges who legislate from the bench and to impose their belief, these legislators and judges do not deserve a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. [applause] and i will stand with you as we work to pass the human life amendment to the united states constitution. but if there is one thing, if there is one thing that i can leave with you, it's this. the greatest victories in the battle for life is not going to be one in the halls of government. it is going to be one in the hearts of men. and yes, we must change the law but we must also change hearts and minds.
that is why this film, the gift of life, is so important to our efforts. it represents a new strategy to restore our culture, one that replaces the acrimony of politics with the testimony of real people, who have been faced with the most difficult choices. they chose life. imagine the impact this film can have on a young woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. someone who tunes out the political dialogue, but who might be open to watching a dvd with a friend. imagine the difference that you can make, not in just one life but imagine the great joy she
may experience one day not too far down the road as she tucks her little one in bed, thanking god that she chose life. some children are not born into ideal circumstances, but never, ever let it be said that there is such a thing as an unwanted child. every life is precious. every life is a precious gift from god. it is worthy of our protection and to all of you who joined me in that purpose, in that effort, i wish you merry christmas and god bless you. thank you. [applause]
[applause] >> please welcome to term united states senator from the commonwealth of pennsylvania, rick santorum. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. [applause] thank you very much. thank you so much. it is great to be back in iowa although i have been here for a little bit of time. 99 counties. by the end of this week i will have done 350 town hall meetings in the state of iowa. how about that? [applause] and on behalf of karen and all my kids, all seven of my kids, just want to thank the people of
iowa. you have just been absolutely the most hospital, welcoming and i might add tough folks in doing your job and standing up and fighting for the things that you believe in and this primary process. i am so pleased to see such a big crowd here tonight. you know i get the question all the time, all the time, well you know when you look at these polls, are the social issues really as important? i bet you don't get that question, do you? are the social issues important you know, and is it just the economic issues? it's always just the economic issues and that is what is driving this election. i always tell the press, has a vote yet been cast? the answer is no. the vote has not yet been cast and the issues and was important to the people of iowa is not going to be reflected on national polls are polls taking a snapshot in time.
we will see come caucus day whether the issues that are important to the heartland of america speak out. ladies and gentlemen this is the most important election of our lifetime and there is no more important foundational issue. i talk about this all over iowa, not just in front of a pro-life convention. there is no more foundational issue at stake in our country band faith and family, freedom and life. those of the foundational principles. [applause] we cannot be a strong country economically or anything else. we cannot have limited government unless we are moral and decent people living out moral and decent lives, respecting life and embracing and supporting the american family. it is the bedrock. it is the bedrock of our
economy. it is the bedrock of our country. it is the bedrock that allows limited government because when the family breaks down and respect for life and moral values break down, then government gets bigger and bigger and bigger. ladies and gentlemen, you understand that here in iowa. you get it. you get that the social issues aren't the unique set aside issues. no, they are central to every issue that we deal with an america. why? because america is a great moral enterprise upon which everything is founded. people have called for a truce on the social issues. think about that for a second. i agree. [laughter] they have called for a truce on the social issues. some in our party have called for a truce. think about what a truce is. 1.2 million abortions in
america. marriage is marriages being imposed systematically here i judges in the state of iowa but all across this country court after court stepping forward to change the will of the american public, which in 32 states, 32 times voted to support traditional marriage. fleecy embryonic stem cell research now being funded via the president. fleecy abortion conscious clauses stripped away. we see a basement of human life on a daily basis and people in our party called for a truce? it is a surrender, not a truce. and under a santorum presidency there will be no surrender. i did i think five or six events
today, lots of town meetings all over the place and reporters talking to me. you are coming. this is your crowd tonight. you are the social conservative candidate in this room. that is what they have said. santorum is not doing as well because he is the social conservative in their room. my record is as good on economic issues and foreign-policy issues i would argue as anybody. [applause] well -- but the reason they call me the social conservative candidate in this race is because i have been in the foxhole out on the frontline, fighting for the social conservative fight on a national scale. authored every major pro-life legislation that ever passed the united states senate over the past 20 years. [applause] i fought, i fought in the trenches standing up for life.
i didn't do it representing utah for south carolina. i did it representing the swing state of pennsylvania. i did so with pride. i am proud to say i am on the social -- and i'm proud of it. do you know why? because as i said before this country is based on the moral foundation and unless we get the moral issues right we will never get the economic or the foreign policies right. [applause] i know i'm standing in between you and that movie so i'm not going to be much longer. you want to know all the things i'm going to do? i was the first candidate to put out a 25-point plank of everything that i would do as president and everything from the funding planned parenthood to reimposing the gag rule, something that george w. did not even do which is to make sure
that anybody who receives funds for family planning cannot prefer for abortion. george bush would not overturn that. that will be overturned in my administration. [applause] and more importantly it's about what we see tonight, to give for life. more importantly this will tell the story. jesus taught us all through the bible that the best way to communication is through -- and what i found is a united states senator and one i believe in my soul is one of the most important roles of of the president is to tell americans the truth and do it in a way that connects with people, tells the story. that is why this movie here tonight is so important. for those to step forward and tell the story of what the pro-life movement really is. i speak at a lot of crisis
center's all over the country. i believe in that movement, if movement that expresses the love of the pro-life movement. the child and the mom and all those involved in the very difficult decision in the world today. it tells the story of the pro-life movement that is so important because it just doesn't get out through the filter of the media. this is a movement about one thing. it is about love. it's about opening our arms to all of god's children and loving them and embracing them and welcoming them, welcoming all of god's children. we know, i always get a kick out of the left when they say the republicans are anti-science. how dare you not believe in global warming. you are anti-science. and yet, when you confront them and this is one of the reasons i have some problems with some of
the folks running for office these days when they say i believe life begins at conception. it is like i say, i believe the sun rises. [laughter] why would you say you believe something that is a fact? [applause] it is a scientific fact. it's an undeniable scientific fact. why do we hedge it? why do we state it? why do we confront them with the truth? that is what this movie does. it confronts with the truth and that is what you do. you who are worriers for the pro-life movement. you go out everyday every day and your life changes. parading in front of the abortion clinics, standing and witnessing for life, helping of
those crisis pregnancy centers, fighting for the love, fighting and loving every child of god. that is the face of the pro-life movement. i just want to encourage you, you may think that we are failing as you had seen so much of that. so many failures but we are not. we are not. because you are being faithful. as mother teresa said god does not call on us to be successful. he calls on us to be faithful. i want to share one story and then wrap up with you because this is a night about stories. there was a story when i was debating the partial-birth abortion bill back in 1998. it was late at night and we have had debated all night long, and all day long. i had debated that day six hours against barbara boxer. i think i will have a little time off in purgatory for that but that's another story.
[applause] anyway, at the end of the evening, at the end of the evening at 8:00 at night we are wrapping up the senate in voting on this -- and something was working on the inside that maybe i needed to say more. we were two votes short and i thought maybe, maybe if i stayed there laid into the evening and some of the senators would go home and some of these guys don't have much of a life. they might turn on c-span2 to see what's on tv and they might see me. [laughter] and so i went back into the room and i called my wife, karen. we had just had our fourth child, a little girl sara marie and i called and she was crying. it was at 8:00 at night and i said honey, no i should be coming home that i feel like i need to say more. she said, what she always says, she said well that is what makes
me stand here in this is what you feel called to do and i will support you. so i went back out there and i said i will only be a couple of minutes. i told the guy in the chair. an hour and half later i finished. okay this is my last story. [laughter] an hour and a half later i finished and i talked about children with disabilities who were the target of partial-birth abortions because mothers found out late in pregnancy that their child wasn't perfect any more. and thereby wanted to kill it because well it wasn't what they were expecting. i finished and i went home that night, the kids were sleeping karen was asleep. i got up the next morning as i always did, 5:00 out the door, we had lost by two votes. i walked out of that room of the senate chamber and walk to the capitol steps and walk down them and i thought, what hubris on my
part. i thought i could make a difference. and in the meantime here is another night where i was a horrible dad, a horrible husband and i let pride get the best of me. five days later i got an e-mail from a young man from michigan state university and he said as follows. the other night my girlfriend and i were sitting on the couch flipping through the channels and we came across you standing on the floor of the united states senate a picture of a little boy who was disabled, so we stopped and listened. and you told a story the story about how his mother fought for his life. and as you did i look down and i noticed that there were tears running down my girlfriends cheeks. i asked her what was wrong and she looked at me and said, i am pregnant. and i have an abortion scheduled for next week but i'm not going to have an abortion any more.
[applause] [applause] in my eyes, my imperfect vision, i was a failure, but god has better vision. [applause] go out and fight the fight. be faithful. you may not see maybe in your lifetime, you may not see what fruits and what seeds you have planted but that is only because you just did not get the e-mail. [applause]
i would appreciate your support. i know all the other candidates have said they need your help and support. they are lying. i need your help and support. [laughter] [applause] you want to send a message? you want to send a message about the issues you care about that are still important in this election? you know what to do. thank you and god bless you. [applause] [applause] >> please welcome back to the stage tonight cohost, citizens united president and executive producer of the gift of life, david bossy. [applause]
>> wow. i am well, my name is david bossy and i'm president of citizens united. i am executive producer of this film and i am honored and humbled to be here tonight with each and everyone of you. thank you all for coming. what began several months ago was a phone conversation between governor huckabee in myself has created a conversation that we are continuing here this evening. but first before i talk about the film i want to acknowledge congresswoman bachmann, speaker gingrich and governor santorum for attending our forum this evening about one of the most important issues we face as a nation. i believe each of them -- [applause]
i believe each of them to beat true to their beliefs and the protection of life and their support for the pro-life movement is unwavering. i had the pleasure of knowing three of the four candidates here this evening. i have made many films with newt and calista gingrich. and rediscovering god's america and many others. michelle bob and is the star of our film about conservative women from the heartland and senator santorum is the star of our film on president obama. [laughter] governor perry, newt suggested actually that i make a film with you about teaching folks about states rights and the 10th amendment so we should talk
about that afterward. [applause] i think it's an important issue. the sanctity of life should not be a tangential issue in this years election and what we saw on the stage this evening is the steady and true leadership that the country so desperately needs. i only wish we had the full slate of candidates here this evening so we could hear what they all had to say about the sanctity of life. the protection of life and in fighting for her life is important to me and to my wife. we have four children, and our second child, griffin, was born and had a major heart defect, and in his first day of life had heart surgery. we were blessed to be able to see him through that and a lot
of prayer goes into the time when your family is going through something like that. so we came out of that with a two day old, three day old, four-day old baby recovering from heart surgery which is an overwhelming thing. then at five months, he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. and over the next three weeks, he had three brain surgeries in new york city, where we went to find the best medical care. and then at three years old he had another open heart surgery and last year, he had another brain surgery. and now we hope we are done. we have had enough.
we have had enough and he has had enough but my son griffin is an 8-year-old voice who is in third grade, who we are so blessed to be able to say he is happy and healthy and strong and actually it was new to said at the family leader event back at thanksgiving when he talked about my son, that all he wants to do is go out and play football and baseball and that is a testament to the miracle that is griffin. so that is why making a film like this is so important to us. now, i want to stay thank you say thank you to governor mike huckabee, who as you well know is a tireless advocate for pro-life issues. we teamed up to produce the gift
of life, to change the way people think about this issue. governor huckabee and i made a movie to bring you the inspirational stories of those affected by the scourge of abortion as well to tell the story of the leaders who are on the front lines fighting for the sanctity of life each and every day. this film could not have been possible if it were not for a great cast and some of them are here this evening and i really want to introduce you to them. and recognize them all for their work. michael clancy is sitting right here, somewhere. thank you for coming. [applause] rebecca kiesling is here. maria lancaster and her daughter are here. chet mcdonald is here, right here. thank you for coming. and carol tobias who is the president of the national right
to life committee is here. [applause] and before i introduce governor huckabee for his remarks and introducing the film i just wanted thank a couple of people who've helped make this movie. this is really my opportunity, before the first time we ever see it on the big screen. to thanked them. kevin no block who again it mentioned, was involved in this film from the very beginning. kevin is a brilliant writer and director and it is our ninth film together, kevin, nine films. that is remarkable. thank you for putting up with me. [applause] he is an amazing filmmaker and his vision for this documentary tells the inspirational stories that i have mentioned and
inspirational stories for the unborn. are executive producers lawrence k. dish who we just couldn't do anything like what we are going to show you this evening without his help and support and executive producer david huckabee who is the guy who helps make the trains run on time and was an integral part of putting this movie together and then of course i have one of my board members here so i have two college mike board member, brian berry who made it in from the trip from texas. thank you, brian. [applause] and then our director and her team who spearheaded the production of the film, working with kevin, but has also managed this incredible evening tonight. and this incredible program tonight which is no small task. a special thank you to the over half a million citizens united
members who made this film possible. finally i want to thanked governor huckabee. this is our first film together. i hope it is the first of many. governor huckabee is a passionate defender of life and there is no other person in the world that i would want to have hosted this very important pro-life film. it is both a privilege and a pleasure working with him and i'm proud to call him my friend. thank you all very much for coming and with that i give you governor mike huckabee. [applause] >> thank you very much everyone, thank you. thank you and god bless you for being here. thank you. thank you. thank you. what a great night to be in iowa. first of all i've never been to iowa in december when there wasn't snow completely covering
the ground so this is a delight in itself but the greatest delight is seeing this theater filled with people who have come to witness what i hope is a powerful presentation, not just to you but to the people all across america, of the value and the intrinsic work of every single human life. for many of us this issue is not a political issue. it is a moral issue. it transcends anyone's politics because it really is about how we as human beings regard and treat each other as fellow human beings. one of the things that i believe very passionately is that if we are going to change this country's attitude toward life and truly elevate the sanctity of every human life, that the way we do it is not to break arms and legs but to break hearts. as people understand what happens when we miss the life of an individual who could have been, but was not.
the story of each of the people you are going to see i hope will touch you and move you and cause you to want to share the message not only with your pro-life friends which i believe will confirm their convictions not just to the weather to the y but i hope you will also share it with your friends who are struggling with this issue who have not yet come to terms with the fact that at conception, a human life begins and that no one but god has the right to end that life prematurely or in any other way other than its natural conclusion. [applause] and i hope that the power of the message, which i think you will see, is one that touches you as it did me. i knew what was going to be in the film obviously but when i saw the first version and i sat
in screen did i have to be honest with you, i wept because it exceeded my hopes and expectations of delivering what i believe to be is a very powerful message, again not to try to be combative or confrontational with the message, but rather to explain how important each life truly is. i want to say larry gatlin, the singer-songwriter who was a dear friend who was supposed to be here tonight and he had the experience so many of us has had. he was going to get here by way of an airline. [laughter] and he is still in nashville. he never got out of there. so i was very hopeful that he would at the end of the film share with you a song that he has written that i believe may be the most powerful pro-life song that i have ever heard. i hope he soon has it on youtube and you will be able to see it but until then you'll have to trust me that it is worth finding when it comes out.
it's just a magnificent reminder of the power of life. at the end of the film i will have a chance to just very briefly share with you a couple of things that i hope will encourage you but i know this. there is not a person here that came to hear me talk about the film. i am painfully aware of that. you have come to see the film. i want to say before we screened it, my heartfelt and deep appreciation to the candidates for president who are here tonight and it speaks volumes that they are here. i hope you recognize that. [applause] in fairness to all the candidates come even the ones who did not indicate their support for what we are doing here tonight, some had events. if there's anybody in this country who understand sometimes you have scheduling conflicts
that cannot be overcome, i understand that i do want you to take note that there were four candidates who cleared their schedules and made this a priority events. you know this event is not here to endorse a candidate but i think it is significant that all for the candidates who are present tonight have endorsed life and that ought to be very important to you as you consider someone to vote for in the caucuses here in iowa. [applause] they all have a thousand things to do but i hope that the fact that they are are more than 1000 people here to see them will make this worth their time for having, and i appreciate so much you're giving them your attention and your sincere consideration. at this time ladies and gentlemen it is with great joy that i present to you the gift of life. [applause]
>> now after hearing from the four republican presidential candidates, the audience in des moines is going to watch a pro-life documentary produced by citizens united. we have been hearing the candidates talk about that documentary, moderated by mr. huckabee. as a former governor and the 2008 winner of the iowa caucus, the 2012 iowa caucuses are 20 days away. scheduled for january 3. >> their philosophy is simple. when everybody's left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules, i am here to say they are wrong. >> we want to move towards a balanced budget and borrow trillions of more dollars. we believe in rewarding and encouraging those who create jobs. >> my friends, washington is a
>> the united nations estimates more than 5000 people have been killed in protest against the government of syrian president bashar al-assad. up next the house foreign affairs subcommittee hears about the administration's syrian policy from the state department's middle east coordinator. this is an hour and a half. [inaudible conversations]
>> the subcommittee will come to order. i want to wish everyone good morning and welcome all of my colleagues to this hearing subcommittee on the middle east and south asia -- as has been well-documented the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the regime at damascus or simply horrifying. the report of the internet -- international commission of inquiry on the syrian arab republic document some of the most appalling and widespread human rights abuses that have been witnessed in recent memory. the commission explicitly notes extra-judicial execution, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence and perhaps most disturbingly the abuse and murder of children. witnesses interviewed by the commission were reported to have witnessed the torture, rape and murder of children no older than 15 at the hands of syrian
security forces. one military defector the report noted, stated that he decided to defect after witnessing the shooting of a 2-year-old girl by an officer who affirmed that he did not want her to grow into a demonstrator. the english language does not have word strong enough to adequately condemn the horrifying abuses that have been committed by the assad regime and its allies against the syrian people. beyond questions of legitimacy, these despicable acts are proof that the assad regime is morally depraved and it is my belief that we and all other responsible nations, have a moral to assure that assad and his ilk are removed from power as soon as possible. according to the u.n. high commissioner of human rights, the civilian death toll in syria now exceeds 5000 the number of children killed as more than
300. no responsible nation can sit by and allow this to testable display of depravity to continue. today's hearing however was called to examine u.s. policy. several months ago, the subcommittee of the privilege of hearing assistant secretary spelman and posner discuss the obama administration's human rights policies towards iran and syria. since that hearing, the administration has taken a number of steps on syria for which it deserves credit. although it took far too much time and at least 1900 dead syrian citizens, the administration has finally come out and called for a share all assad's departure from power on august 18. it also implemented sanctions against the government of syria and various high-ranking syrian regime authorities, many of which have been mirrored by our allies abroad. unfortunately i fear this is not enough. syria currently stands on the precipice of a full scale civil
war. recent reports suggest that the ranks of the free syrian army, the main armed opposition, continue to swell, likely fueled by a rise in defections and the intensified violence being perpetrated against the syrian people by assad and his band of thugs. as a result the number of public at -- confrontations between the regime and armed opposition is on the rise. the longer assad remains in power the more likely this conflict is to degenerate into a prolonged conflict that risks splitting the country along ethnic and carrion lines. to date, the administration is strongly discouraged all armed opposition in syria. in his testimony before the senate foreign relations subcommittee on near eastern and south and central asian affairs, assistant secretary feldman stated that quote, we do not want to see the situation descend into further violence. the best way forward is to continue support for the non-violent opposition while working with international
partners to further isolate and to further pressure the regime. while we understand the syrian people need to protect themselves, violent resistance is counterproductive. it will play into the regime's hands. it will divide the opposition. it will undermine international consensus, unquote. this policy of encouraging nonviolence in the face of riggle tactics of the assad regime grows more untenable by the day. it is not our prerogative to tell the syrian opposition to wish you armed resistance against the assad regime when it is that very regime that continues to torture, rape and murder the citizens who comprise the opposition. it must be pointed out to those who maintain that only non-violent opposition is legitimate, that it was the assad regime and not the opposition, which initiated the violence. the syrian people, like all people, have the right to defend themselves against the brutality
of an illegitimate and repressive regime. moreover i challenge anyone who would defend the assad regime by declaring that assad is merely quelling an international and internal insurrection to show the syrian people -- to show the syrian people by what free and fair means, bush r. us al-assad or his father attained and maintain power. this regime has declared war on the syrian people and the syrian people have a right to fight back. we must stand with them in the struggle. ..
face of the brutal crackdown is tantamount to asking them to commit suicide and i fear that doing so may eventually put us against a legitimate opposition instead of against an illegitimate regime. and i now yield to the gentleman from new york the distinguished ranking member from new york for five minutes.
for selecting our excellent witness today. >> think it is worth considering tougher u.s. policy has moved and in the right direction since late july when we met with the obama administration officials to discuss the situation and syria as well as iran. the central policy questions regarding syria were and what i united states finally and explicitly call for them to step down what would when would we impose the sanctions available to us and when american leadership moved to the international community to recognize and respond to the vasseur of the regime pressure? after the questions came in august whether the obama administration work on all three elements and later than some of us wished in consultation with allies in europe and with turkey together with subsequent
sanctions by the arab league has made it clear that the al asad regime's days are indeed numbered. the rule which has been characterized at home by unparalleled brutality and endemic corruption and broad support for the hegemony, the subversion of lebanon's independence, state support for turbos against the nuclear proliferation is doomed and deservedly so. clearly the people of syria have increased their fundamental right to determine not only who will govern syria the form of government as well. we wish for them what we desire for ourselves the space government, circumscribed by law accountable to the public and bound to respect the fundamental rights of the people firmaments powers are derived. in syria today there were divisions between ethnicities and religions, between believers
and nonviolence and proponents of violent resistance to tearing down the regime. there are splits between internal activists and external dissidents between the army defectors and civil society leaders. i would say to all of the syrians distraught by the lack of unity and common purpose welcome to the wonderful world of space self-government. your freedom will not come easily and certainly not without a great struggle to create a common front as in throwing off the tierney. and it won't get easier. it just won't. self-government is the hardest form of government and the most complex, but if you want simple and easy, stick with what you've got one and his band of crooks and killers of children will gladly go back to the way things were. as we in the united states contemplate the end of the assault regime, even some other
parts of the region are getting many here some enthusiasm. the syrians replace the tierney may not be jeffersonian democrats. in another country the most politically coherent and well-organized forces in the searing in society are apt to be those who are organized around religious beliefs. these men and women are not likely to consider themselves our natural allies. this fact does not necessarily imply that they are or who need be enemies. in the years to come a great experiment will likely take place throughout the middle east and determine whether the space norms can coexist. some may doubt it. it often seems to me that many of the most insistent that the conflict between moscow and state is an irreconcilable. it seems to also be among the
born free and equal, that governments derive their just powers for the government and that each of us is endowed with inalienable rights. if we believe these things are as right and true today as they were on that july 4th we must also believe they are right and true everywhere, not just with the bloody hand of oppression lies most heavily. thank you, mr. chairman. >> googled kimmage. the chair will recognize members for one minute if they would like to make an opening statement in the order that they arrived. mr. rohrabacher from california,
the chair from the subcommittee on oversight and investigations is recognized for a minute. >> first of all i would like to thank the chairman for holding this hearing. i think that we have many jobs as members of congress and to make sure the word gets out to the american people about things that are happening overseas that are dealing directly with our values as a people, and as we have just heard from the ranking member there is an uprising going on and syria that goes right to the heart of what our ideals are as americans and i am anxious to hear the details. this has been one conflict that i have actually been looking at from a distance and not really been able to determine what those are. so looking forward to the witness and let me just note
that when we talk about the family, the dictatorship they've had that is a secular dictatorship, something that we oppose, and the dictatorship in iran is also something we oppose even though that of course is as a totally religious dictatorship and i guess what americans are about as we are against dictators and dictatorships and brutality and when i hear the details. thank you very much. >> thank you. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized if he would like to make a statement. okay. the gentleman from new york mr. turner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i hope these hearings will encourage a defined and protective u.s. policy. i yield back. thank you. >> the gentleman from new york
mr. higgins. >> thank you for holding this important hearing. i'm pleased to see president obama and leaders around the world have called on a sought to step down the regime. the brutal actions threaten the humanities and the need to be stopped. our country along with the european union is right to issue strong sanctions against syria to deny them revenues that are used to finance their abuse and the syrian people. we must remain steadfast in our efforts to give the syrian people what they want and deserve. that being a government representative in responsive to the people. i look forward to the hearing testimony of the witnesses today and engaging them in how we can help the syrians who have been oppressed for too long to finally have the government a want and deserve. >> thank you. the gentleman from nebraska.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. in the interest of time i will yield back i want to think the witness for a hearing today for your willingness. >> the gentleman from connecticut, mr. murphy. >> thank you. looking forward to the testimony today we have learned a lot of lessons over the past decade about the difference between unilateral action and multilateral action, and with the cooperation and willingness of turkey and the arab league to join with us in whole or in part in some of the actions to put pressure on the regime looking forward to the comments today from our witness as to how we can move forward with partners in seeking an outcome that's best for the region and best for the people of syria and the united states. thank you very much mr. chairman. >> i will now introduce our distinguished witness here this morning. frederick off is the special coordinator for the regional affairs. return to the government service in 2009 to lead the special
envoy for middle east peace efforts to achieve syrian, israeli and lebanese peace agreements and to advise the secretary of state and other senior u.s. officials on the political and security issues. since early 2010 he has coordinated the departments of state and broad u.s. government response to the crisis in syria. mr. hough previously held senior positions at the department of state and defense. before serving as president and ceo of aalc, an international consultancy. he is a vietnam war veteran and holds a purpleheart along with other military declarations and civilian awards. we want to particularly think you for your service to the country, mr. hof. and without further ado, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. german shavit, a ranking member
ackerman, distinguished members of the subcommittee, i am deeply honored to have this opportunity to discuss syria with you today and i greatly appreciate the invitation to do so. you have my statement. i will dispense with reading it. i've got a few comments that i hope sincerely will help us frame the discussion we can have this morning. nine months ago the president of syria elected to respond to peaceful protests with violence and brutality. for nine months, he has stayed on course, a course featuring death, incarceration, torture and terror. is it any wonder that peaceful protests threatens to morph into violent resistance?
is it any wonder that a regime in its death throes trying to save itself would rather risk civil war than implement the modest steps called for by the arab league to restore the peace? in his recent interview with barbara walters, the person who clings on to the title, president of the syrian arab republic, disclaimed any personal responsibility for the regime's war on the syrian people. they are not my forces, he protested. they are military forces belonging to the government. it's difficult to imagine a more craven disclaimer of responsibility. perhaps it is a rehearsal for
the time when accountability will come. for now, however, it is a clear message to all who serve this regime. your president claims to see come here and know nothing, whether you are the private in an infantry squad or minister of government, your president will place the blame for the crimes committed squarely on you. in another sense, however, president assad performed an accident servicing drawing a distinction between himself and the syrian state. it is a distinction that the syrian opposition led by the syrian national council is making as it draws up detailed plans for serious transition from dictatorship to the rules law. it is the distinction between the corrupt and competent,
belittle and, yes, bodying regime, and the state to which it has attached itself like a barnacle. it is good distinction between a family enterprise that has exploited labor of over 20 million syrians to enrich itself the st structure in which is to provide basic services to its citizens. the syrian national council is making it clear that the regime, the assad family clich, must go. yet the state, for all of its works and weaknesses, must state to provide basic services and to help facilitate the transition. by drawing a distinction, syria's opposition is performing the two vital services. it is helping to guarantee that if the regime leaves peacefully
and quickly, there will be no prospect of state failure, no prospect of chaos. and it is reaching out to the serious minorities who fear the prospect of wrenching change, even as they despise the corruption and confidence and fertility of the regime --. their stand that this is any intention of saving syria as it tries to save itself. the longer the regime remains in power, the greater the chances are that syria will dissolve into bloody sectarian conflict. this would be disastrous for syria. this would be disastrous for its neighbors. how to avoid it without the
voluntary stepping aside of a reckless regime is problematical no one, least of all the united states, is seeking to militarize the situation. the closest we have to the international consensus at the moment is that the regime must implement the steps called for by the arab league immediately and unconditionally. but it will not likely do so. one of our most urgent tasks is to work with others to try to prevent this peaceful uprising from morphing into the armed insurrection that would discredit the opposition, reinforce the narrative, complicate the international support, and most likely, lead to a bloody and protracted conflict. therefore my bottom line is this: the policy of the violent
repression will run a serious fight economy of the real. if he is willing to preside over pyongyang, and if he keeps with the gulf cooperation council has labeled his killing machine intact, he may hang on for a period of time. it will certainly keep up the pressure and tried to peel away his apologists and enablers and the international community. but the nightmare of the syrian people may be far from over. the nightmare will, however, ind. our job is to try to ensure that it ends sooner rather than later and with as little damage to the institutions of the syrian state and the unity and the well-being of the syrian people as possible. the inner circle can best contribute to the welfare of their countrymen by stepping aside now without delay.
when the regime is gone, the syrian people can be assured that they will have plenty of help in rebuilding and reforming their state and recovering the honor and dignity squandered by those who have served themselves at syria's expense. thank you, mr. chairman. i look forward to comments and questions. >> thank you very much. we appreciate your testimony this morning and we will know each have five minutes to ask questions and i recognize myself for five minutes for that purpose. in my opening statement i have raised my concern about the administration's continue calls for all opposition to remain peaceful. there is a logic to the administration's's policy which i do understand by resorting to violence, the administration fears that the opposition may lose some international consensus and also give the regime the fuel with which to
drum up support. i do not however agree with the logic. first it supposes that countries like china and russia, the latter which recently delivered over 70 cruise missiles to the regime would never break with the regime. my sense is given the brutality with witness if they have not already broken with a sought they are unlikely to be persuaded by more dead bodies. second, this puts us in a difficult position insofar as it brings into question whether we would continue to support the opposition if it were to fight back against the regime's for devotee. in your written testimony, you state that we, quote, urged against the violent resistance not being because -- not because we are not naive, but because we firmly believe the effort to extract this regime from the syrian state will succeed more quickly bloodlessly if the
regime remains entirely peaceful, in the cold. my question is why. one recent report suggests mass attacks on the army defectors and pro-democracy activists. do we honestly expect the opposition to stand there and be murdered as the administration met with the free syrian army and if not, why not? and does it have any plans to? if indeed the wide opposition decides that it can no longer remain non-violent in the face of the regime's onslaught, we abandon support? at what point would the obama administration reconsider its policy of issuing support for the armed opposition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. neither view or the members of this committee, nor the members of the syrian opposition were the people are going to hear any sermons from me or anybody in
this administration of self-defense. it is clear of the strategies of the assad regime is. it is to attempt to channel peaceful resistance, which it cannot handle. it has no clue how to handle peaceful resistance. channel it as best it can in the direction of insurrection. because it believes it knows how to handle insurrection. this is the kind of language that regime understands quite well. what we are hoping still have been mainly by virtue of the arab league initiative.
and there's going to be a key meeting this weekend. somehow the arab league will be able to persuade the syrian regime to accept monitors, witnesses on the ground. our view is that it is much less likely that this regime will do its work if there are witnesses present. our view is that the best scenario for the future, the best scenario for the stable transition that reserves stability in the region is one that would be peaceful. but mr. chairman, this regime has the votes in how that turns out. and i'm not about to tell people trying to defend their houses and their families that they
shouldn't do it. i'm not about to tell syrian soldiers who are ordered to commit crimes that they should follow the orders. so it is a real dilemma we face and there are no easy answers for this. >> i hope you are right. i fear you may not be. but certainly when you have a position as being peaceful and being gunned down and children are being tortured there is a natural inclination to fight back. and i guess you can look at egypt as one example where violence wasn't necessary. the regime did come down. libya on the other hand was a different situation. and had there not been an armed uprising i don't see a clear way back to ghadafi have been overthrown. thank you again for your service to the country. i will now recognize the
gentleman from new york, mr. ackerman for five minutes as well. >> i thank the chairman, and i just wanted to personally and recognize the witness myself in so much as he grew up on long island in port washington, very much a part of my constituency and is also a graduate of shriver, one of the most prestigious public schools that we have. is there any chance that the assad regime survives? >> condra sam, our view is that this regime is the equivalent of dead man walking, but the question is how many steps
remain. i think it is very, very difficult to predict or project how much time this regime house. the more time it has, the worst for syria and for the region. that is very clear. but no, i do not see this regime surviving. >> i would strongly agree with you. my view has always been in the in the district lines but how long it takes to get to the end is sometimes measured in a lot of blood. what is it that we or others could be doing to speed up the demise of the regime that we are not doing right now? >> congressman, one of the tasks it has been assigned to me by the secretary of state is outreach to the syrian american
community. al reach to the syrian americans of the various faiths, various political beliefs. i think one of the things that the members of this committee can do -- and ensure that each and every one of you has syrian american constituents, each and every one of you is aware of what the syrian americans have contributed to the united states of america to the extent that you are willing and able to reach out to these communities to engage them in dialogue and if necessary point them in my direction. >> what do we tell them to do? >> i think what we tell them to do, if particularly in the case of what are in a series of the minority communities christians
i think we need to assure them number one change is coming, and number two, their government, the united states government, is absolutely committed to seeing seeley and's minorities play a central role in the new syria. this is part -- this is a big part of our ongoing discussion with the syrian opposition. the need to make absolutely sure that all communities and syria are comfortable with the fact that change is coming and knowing they are going to play a central role in this. >> the syrian opposition holds very strong cards and is the
determinant factor of is going to happen ultimately in syria. so i think it is very important that the ambassador did return so that among the many things he had to do is build our ties with the next generation in syria with the syrian leader's. what can you tell us in our public sitting here at out contact that we've made with the syrian opposition that would assist them in their struggle, and are we doing anything that we can specifically with regard to determining what the attitudes are and helping shape those attitudes under the new regime specifically towards the christian community which seems to be in grave danger and so many parts of the arab world. >> that is an extraordinarily important point. we are not shy about the fact we
reach out to the syrian opposition. it is a major part of ambassador robert ford's mission in damascus. it's a major part of our mission on the outside. it's a major part of the mission of assistant secretary altman. we have sustained contact with the opposition. the opposition obviously is not a creature of the united states of america. it is made up of a coalition of extraordinarily independent people. they have their own thoughts on how to proceed. they have their own thoughts on what the transition from dictatorship to the roll call should look like. one of the plans we've made to the opposition, and i must say they get they do need to do a
more sustained and steady job of outreach to syria's minorities, to christians, alleys, kurds, the list goes on and on. because it is the concerns of these minorities particularly christians i think that the regime is hiding behind right now. it's probably the key reason why the central part of the cities such as damascus have remained quiet while the rest of the country is experiencing protests on a daily basis making sure that assyrian christians and other minorities understand that they are part of the solution
here and that the regime is not only part of the problem, it is the problem. >> the time is expired. the gentleman from california mr. rohrabacher is recognized for five minutes. >> i didn't quite get the point that you were making. >> why is it those areas are quiet? because why? you were just saying that in damascus they are quiet and that was some sort of success and i wasn't quite sure the point you're making. >> my point is that to a very large degree this regime is both stoneking and hiding behind the fear of minorities in syria. fear about what the role would be in the future of syria and
that this tactics if you will, this strategy on the part of the regime helps account for the fact that central parts of damascus have been relatively quiet. by the same token, one more point, by the same token with our embassy is saying is a great deal more in the way of security prisons in downtown damascus so the regime is clearly worried about what's -- with the future holds. estimates and you are saying they are the christian and the minority neighborhood is that what you're saying? hattie's minority cme axson you are suggesting the minority communities occur in this
instruction may be attracted to support the regime? >> what i'm saying, congressman, is that there is virtually no one in syria who has any illusions about the corruption, the incompetence and the violence, the brutality of the regime. no one, not even the people in the inner circle of the regime who have those allusions. but minorities and syria do have some concerns about what comes next. so a major mission for the opposition is to address those concerns. >> how does the opposition address those concerns?
>> it's coming along, congressman. it is a work in progress. >> you have a regime that is a secular regime and is allied. the greatest ally of syria is the non-religious of all the regime's for the most fanatical and then you've got this alliance so you're suggesting that perhaps the insurrection hasn't made its position clear on whether or not people of other faiths will have freedom under space government? >> congressman, the opposition is saying all the right things. if you read the statements, you read the proclamations, read the text of the speeches that have been given it's all fine. what we have suggested to the opposition is that its messaging into syria needs to be more
disciplined, more sustained, more powerful. >> i would hope if there is any ambiguity about whether or not the minority's rights will be respected under the new space government i would hope that would be cleared up. let me ask about the one point seems to be a central point that you are making today and that is that we in some way are opposing an insurrection, maybe the state department doesn't -- need a burn their history books over there. i don't see where tyrants have ever gone down without a fight, and if they are, we had an insurrection. the revolution was an insurrection. mubarak and the others that we have seen where there were not insurrections, these people were
tied to the west. these were, yes, they were less than free government that they were not a brutal dictatorship that we see in the countries that do require insurrection to get rid of frankly from what you're saying i think we are sending the wrong message. we should be sending the message that yes, we support the brave people struggling for their freedom and if guns come to play which they will we hope they win thank you, congressman. i take your point. i take your point. what we've seen from the beginning is this regime as its central strategy pushing but even some in the direction of the insurgency.
it appears they may be succeeding. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you, mr. hof for your testimony. i think this is an incredibly important subject. nobody i think in this country is a fan of the regime, and i think that we would all like to see it leave. if you look at the history of the regime, they have done a number of things to maintain power, and i know what you are saying about the minorities. they have for many years caused the minorities to live in fear of the rule by the majority and they are continuing to stokes of feeling among the minorities. but also of course used israel as a bogeyman for a long time to again maintain their position at the top of the country as a
minority. with all of that in mind, what leads anybody to believe that they would agree to some kind of settlement or to leave voluntarily. what is in it for this regime to leave voluntarily? they are guilty of a lot of crimes obviously. so there's going to be a desire to prosecute leaving members of the assad regime. i have a hard time seeing that this will go anywhere but the direction of a fight to the finish because i don't see that there is anything in it for assad and his henchmen who are in charge of the regime to leave without a fight. and no benefit for them to leave. the second thing that i would like for you to address if you don't mind is give us some idea
where turkey is. i know that they are sheltering some of the opposition. but just how far along in that effort are they? are they looking at the possibility at some point of armed intervention across their border? what is going on with turkey's efforts to remove the regime? >> thank you, congressman. first of all, all all the scenario of the fight to the finish, there is plenty of historical precedent that substantiates your view on this. i think assyrians across the board recognized that the cost of the fight to the finish would
be really prohibited it would be prohibited for the country and prohibited for the region nevertheless we cannot discount the strong possibility that this is the direction the regime is going to choose to go. of the syrian opposition in coordination with the arab league is trying to pull out all the stops as we speak, to try to prevent that scenario from taking place. the opposition will be going to cairo with a transition plan that will discuss in some detail with the arab league will. it is a plan that involves deep involvement in offering some kind of protective asylum. to the regime.
i think from the point of view of the opposition, it owes itself, it owes the syrian people the opportunity to try to run that to ground. it may not work, but they are going to try, and i think they should. with respect to turkey i think the big thing that's happened over the past several months is a basic change in how turkey analyzes the central nature of the problem. turkey has gradually but irreversibly come to the conclusion that assad is not part of the solution, he is part of the problem. he poses an unbelievable national security threat to turkey. as you mentioned, turkey has
provided shelter to the syrian army. what they tell us and what we have no reason to this belief is that they are not harming one these folks and sending them across into syria. that is their position. we have no reason to disbelieve it. onshore that turkey is examining many, many different options and contingencies right now based on a variety of scenarios that could come up. i am not aware of any near-term plans to establish safe zones on the territory. >> the time is expired. the gentleman from new york mr. turner is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think this regime is a lot closer to libya and iraq of ten
years ago. i don't think either of these would have been a regime change without some outside help clearly in iraq. do the insurgents or rebels hold any territory? is there any method or support they are getting in terms of arms or equipment? is there any outside help and would we be the united states supplying some of that or nato? >> condra and gone as far as we are able to tell, the syrian opposition does not hold territory and syria. of course there are opposition people located in various urban
neighborhoods. their opposition people who have moved back and forth across the area's borders. i think the key thing right now before we try to determine where we are going to relate to all of this the opposition as self particularly in the form of the national council is still trying to figure out how it relates to the syrian army and defectors. i don't think we want to jump ahead of that. i think we need to see how things play out with the syrian national council and its own relationship building and the syrian national council and its
relation to the ongoing arab league initiative. >> in the syrian army anything more than a name? or their actual units? >> it's very difficult, very, very difficult to get a good handle on this, congressman. it does appear several thousand soldiers have in essence voted with their feet. they've decided they no longer want to be put in a position of having to support criminal activity against their own citizens. it does not have never appear that the syrian army is the kind of organization on which one would do a formal order of
battle analysis in terms of the italian brigades and so forth that does not appear to be organized at this point the true path at a conventional military way. >> thank you. ausley yield back. >> you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. just to follow on like libya the rebels don't appear to control any defined or strategic territory nor have there been any major defections from the assad government. who are the leading forces in the rebel opposition and who are the aligned with and where is this going. if you are an insurgent effort
and you don't have momentum you are not winning and would you characterize the opposition here as having momentum and able to sustain momentum? >> id that is an extraordinarily difficult question for us to give a definitive answer to one. would there be the level of defections we are seeing now i frankly wouldn't know the answer to that question then it is difficult to speculate what things are going to look like a 60 or 90 days from. the main thrust of this year in opposition today remains that part of the opposition that is absolutely committed it to a
peaceful transition in syria. we are talking mainly about the syrian national council and other organizations. these are organizations that are absolutely determined what to do their best to avoid the civil war. that's the main event right now. that is their relationships with the ongoing arab league initiative. this is the main game in town right now. >> so this went from a peaceful call for reform to a growing armed insurgency into what could eventually evolve into a civil war. the allies of assad are russia and china, and they have blocked
u.n. security council condemnation of damascus. however, the united states is aligned with the european union and the sanctions imposed on the syrian government seem to be having somewhat of an impact in terms of oil revenue, in terms of foreign investment that has been halted and in terms of deterioration of the tourism and for syria do you care to comment on that? >> yes, yes, congressman. i think when we are talking about sanctions, first of all truth in advertising my colleagues in the department of treasury are the real experts on this. we've identified over time basically seven categories of sanctions. central bank of syria, commercial bank of syria, other financial institutions,
government officials, other individuals involved in repression, governmental entities and non-governmental entities. these are the general categories of things to target. in those seven categories over time, the united states is seven for seven. the european union is 6% including including the most significant of the sanctions which is to cut off of imports of the syrian oil. the arab league, if it goes through with sanctions will at this stage b347. turkey will be three for seven. so i think in the future much of our efforts will be working with turkey and with the arab league
to see if additional work can be done in that area. but it is having an impact, but i hasten to add the impact of sanctions is dwarfed by the impact of assad driving the economy straight off the cliff through his policies. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman. i appreciate you being here and i thank you for your distinguished military service. when correct me if i'm wrong but i apologize for walking in all late, but did you say that you were hoping that the arab league has influence to the point where if not stepping down it would change its attitude in its mind
as to where things are going at this point? >> congressman, it's difficult for me to measure the precise amount of influence the arab league is going to have on the calculations. clearly the steps they have taken to date has sent this regime into a state of shock because the message is rather clear syria itself as a founding member. syria has always been a central part it is a part of the deliberations the message from the arab league is. syria is important, the syrian people are important.
it has divorced itself from the arab world. >> you are not suggesting that assad be granted immunity for their criminal acts that he has committed, are you? >> condra sam, this is not my suggestion. it's not the suggestion of the united states government. >> the critical vote will be cast by those who will replace this regime managed the transition to something better. they are the ones who are in charge, not us. >> but certainly i would hope we would more than suggest this man be published for the crimes he has committed in the name of humanity. i see that the united nations human rights commission wants to refer this to the international criminal court, practicing law,
called mullen for as many years as i have, i found that the international criminal court is probably not the most aggressive court and certainly cannot implement any type of punishment that would be satisfactory brindisi the international court coming on this. i don't know whether the icc please ns in the long run of or not. these are basic calls that need to be made by the syrian opposition. the opposition itself would come to the conclusion that there is a price to pay.
yes a disgusting price even though. if it gets this quick out of the country. it is a conceivably the price worth paying. again it is not the price for us to extract. there are people who are going to be responsible for running that country when the nightmare is over. >> i find it quite ironic that of all countries russia opposes syria from going before the international criminal court. with that i yield back my time. thank you. >> the gentleman yield that. the gentleman from florida is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman for calling this important hearing very timely hearing.
we have an opportunity to the right thing and take the right steps we may have faltered early on in the so-called arab spring in my opinion. i am distressed by what is happening to the religious minorities in egypt suspiciously believe this specifically christians. therefore i would like to know the nature of the discussions of the state department may have had with the syrian national council and other opposition groups. have any of those discussions stood on developing a constitutional framework that protects christian of course all religious minorities and allows the purchase of religion. if not, why not. the issue that you have raised has been precisely the focus of every single interaction that we
have had with the syrian opposition. we focused on how to points in particular, and again this is mainly with the syrian national council, but it would apply across the board to other organizations. number one, it is absolutely essentials that minorities, whether they be christians, eloise, kurds, whatever adequately represented on the inside in these organizations and there are significant progress being made in that direction. number two -- >> can you elaborate on the progress being made? >> there are people being incorporated into the
organization particularly this year the national council, the syrian national council was acting vv to actively recruiting people and it is having some success. in some cases, and i assure you will understand why does is the case particularly for syrian national council members living inside syria it's important that their identities be protected. >> so you are not going to see a great deal of publicity about this? >> the second point we have been making is that the syrian opposition has to be absolutely relentless will absolutely consistent in its messaging but all syrians in particular to minorities because assyrian minorities are indeed worried about the future even as they
acknowledge the rotten mess of this regime. you know, the regime is so bad that the syrian christians have often been at the head of immigration lines to get to places like the united states, canada, france, australia, places where it can be opportunity and where there can be political freedom. i think what the opposition is looking for is the situation where the syrians, christians and other minorities don't feel compelled to leave the country. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> we will go through a second round here.
what we are struggling with is ultimately whether or not physical force is going to be necessary to remove the tyrant from power or not and certainly are indications komondor hope is that ultimately will be necessary. they won't have to be armed conflict to get rid of this guy, and i ultimately think it probably is going to be necessary, and there are certainly different examples. but seen examples like banaa lee and others that saw the writing on the wall and ultimately fled oftentimes and the exile and then other examples one holding
on to vv and mike saddam hussein or gadhafi to name but a few but it is not clear at what point this direction is going to go and i see you nodding so you would agree with that, mr. hof? >> but let me go in a different direction first of all lebanon. syria has a long history of intervening in the sovereign affairs of the lebanese republic and its problems often become lebanon's. since the uprising of syria began, of violence and unrest has spilled over into lebanon to the varying degrees. recently a number of accounts have surfaced in lebanon regarding the violation of the sovereignty of the regime's army, the mistreatment of the refugees and the kidnapping of the dissidents allegedly with the complicity of the lebanese
authorities. given the ties between the two countries, there is significant risk that on rests and the conflict on syria could spill over into lebanon. what implications does the unrest having on the neighboring lebanon and in the armed forces the laf is it capable of confronting the challenge posed by the prolonged syrian unrest? >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is an important and difficult question. the lebanese of course are beyond being worried about the potential implications for lebanon of what's happening in syria. there has been refugee movement
into northeastern lebanon. there could easily be more in the future. the capacity in the government of lebanon to handle this is limited, but at the capacity of the lebanese security forces has certainly challenged. all i can say at this point is this is a major central agenda item for our embassy in beirut and its contact with the appropriate people in the lebanese government and military and the internal security forces but you are right, the lebanese are deeply, deeply worried about this and they should be. >> thank you dewitt let me conclude with russia. let me follow up more to expand upon that. since the unrest in syria began i think you would agree that
russia has proven remarkably on the counterproductive. not only has moscow outrageously thwarted efforts at the united nations to ramp up pressure against the regime, but it has gone so far as to deliver the regime as i mentioned before the christmas falls and in his testimony before the senate foreign relations subcommittee on the near eastern and south central asian affairs assistant secretary testified that this is a matter that the u.n. security council should be dealing with and we would hope that russia and china and looking at health the clich has refused all attempts of mediation from others will now realize it is time for the security council to act. is their anything that you believe could persuade russia or is it simply a hopeless case,
and if we are not able to get the russians and the chinese on board, doesn't this really rule out the u.n. as a realistic option? and if so, what are the administration's the footsteps in response to that? >> mr. chairman, if indeed it is a hopeless case, the one thing i know is we cannot if it is a hopeless case we have to redouble our efforts with moscow to persuade it. the backing of this regime is not only helping to facilitate a humanitarian catastrophe, but it is manifest not in the interest of the russian federation because change is surely coming
to syria. i think there's another important element of this, something that the russian federation has to take into account, and that is its relationship with the balance of the middle east, particularly the balance of the arab world. what we have now unfolding is a very important and unprecedented arab league initiative to get syria to accept a series of very reasonable conditions to turn the temperature down and create a possibility of the negotiated settlement. i think moscow is watching the the performance very carefully in all of this.
and it's one thing for the united states to keep up the effort to persuade moscow. i think the others may have some leverage as well and that may be the sound most hopeful way for word picks bixby for. the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i guess it was a couple or three years ago that syrian nuclear program and it's very nascent form thanks to a gift from north korea was basically destroyed. evidence seems to indicate that the israelis may have had something to do with that. depriving them of that avenue of
further terrorist brisk and threat to the region and the world. that doesn't take away from the fact that syria is the possessor of the large amounts of chemical and biological stuff and ballistic stuff that nobody has publicly addressed right now. are we talking to the opposition? and perhaps that's why reading the new ones of your statements and responses you have carefully steered away from exacerbating the possibility of the civil war in syria. how does this tie into and are we discussing with any of the possible future leaders of syria what happens with the material
and equipment, and have we made progress or is this not this and you to discuss that and maybe the chairman can arrange a different meeting with you unless there's something you can tell us openly. >> thank you, congressman. i think a different venue would be appropriate, but what i can say in terms of discussion with the opposition, this may well be a subject that could come up sometime in the future but most of the discussions with the opposition to date have focused on challenges that are right in front of our faces right now in terms of getting this transition started. but as to the substance of your
question i would respectfully suggest a different venue. >> with the gentleman yield? we would be happy to work with the staff to set up such a hearing. i yield back. >> the international community has been incredibly active on thus ury initio -- the syrians issue specifically the arab league has done things and has acted in ways that some of us might not have thought possible at the beginning. much to their credit unlike their level of activity in some of the other countries that are experiencing shifts in power. the russians and the chinese bad behavior seem to have created
hopefully an understanding on the part of the syrian street that those countries and their blocking united nations activities puts them squarely in opposition to the street and syria. so one might assume that there is a fissure that has developed between the future leaders of syria and the current leaders of the two large powers. i would think that this presents an opportunity for us to to get vantage of that and the question is are we so doing? genex before, congressman. i must say that if i were given a choice right now, i would rather have the full cooperation of the russian federation and
bringing pressure on this regime. i would rather see the russian federation redo the arithmetic to on this and come to the conclusion that it is losing the syrians street and the adjustment -- >> i would agree to you on the humanitarian terms that would be much quicker resolution to the situation. but given the fact looking at the long-term prospect our real competition is going to be china especially. and i would think rather than if i had my druthers when we don't i would take a look at what the real world opportunities are and how to take a vintage of the fact that this is a very important region, an islamic region with 22 muslim countries within the arab world and others watching very carefully.
to assure that it is we who are more concerned with the people in syria who are supported by the arab league to prove our bonafide to the american concerns and interests and the well-being future of the people in that region. >> i think, congressman, that from the point of the view of the 23 million syrians there is no question that this point is as to who stepped up to the plate and who hasn't. >> keep up the good work. >> the time is expired. the final question of this morning would be the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and again, thank you for holding this hearing. i've often thought about writing a book about diplomacy, and i think if i ever do it is going
to be entitled the art of juggling because i know people like yourself have so many factors that it is hard to come up with and sometimes impossible to come up with a definitive position that takes into account all of those things that you have to take into account. so, let me just suggest that you have a lot of other things that you were juggling that i am not come and let me -- when i say that i am disappointed, let me just say that i respect and appreciate the job that you and other american diplomats are doing especially in situations like this, but i am disappointed today and the apprehension that i am hearing about armed resistance to tyranny.
oneself and achieving freedom. we certainly would not have achieved freedom in the united states, and i don't know many countries that would have achieved freedom with the idea that people can go to the streets and face down tanks or whatever and maybe hold hands and sing songs. that's not what brings about freedom in this world. it's a commitment to make make when the guns start going off that they will stand firm for their beliefs, and americans did that, and others have done that. i would hope that nobody gets the idea from what you're saying today that we americans are in some way hesitant to support those who are fighting for freedom in their own countries. >> congressman, thank you very much. as i mentioned at the beginning, they'll be no sermons from me or
from anybody else in the administration about people not having the right to defend themselves. this regime has tried from the beginning to produce the result that is facing today. syria national counsel, the arab league, and others are trying to pull sierra back from the brink because this consequence of getting out of hand can be terrible for the country and for the region. now, it may be inescapable. you've cited some historical precedence. these precedence may be the guide posts for the future, but
i can't blame the syria opposition for hoping that this cup passes, for hoping that there may be a way to stave off civil war, to see an end to this regime, and to see a transition to something decent, but, please, please, i'm not a career professional dip mat, and -- diplomat, and i admire those who are. the state diplomat is working this night and day sacrificing a great deal. i am a former soldier. i appreciate the right and the necessity of self-defense, and please, please don't see, in my words, any compromise on that
principle. >> well, i have just one last note. self-defense is one thing. conducting a fight for liberty and justice is another, and i think we, as americans, do support the right of people to fight for their freedom and to win against tierny, thank you very much. >> the gentleman's time expired. thank you very much. it was brought to my attention that mr. conley's on his way, but we are wrapping up here. if he doesn't make it, we'll wrap up without him, but -- >> i'm done. >> all right. i want to thank the witness particularly for his testimony today. it was excellent. >> thanks. >> and without -- if there's no objections, members will have five days to submit statements and questions for the record. if there's no further business before the committee, we're adjourned. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations]
germany's lower house of parliament despite the rejection of a treaty to strengthen the eurozone and is government britain will be a secure partner in the european union. this is a little less than a half hour. [applause] >> translator: mrs. speaker, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, in my government statement on december 2, among others, i said that those who were a few months ago would have said that by the end of 2011, we would have started very seriously, would have embarked on the way towards a european fiscal union, would have been declared insane. today, we see that we are no longer just talking about a fiscal union, but we are already
starting to create it. [applause] this was the aim of the federal government at the meeting of the council of ministers last week. we have reached our goal. it should not be under estimated. the vast majority of the member states of the european union have decided to go on this new path towards a new treaty. we have decided to correct the construction mistakes that previle during the creation of the monetary union. the path to a fiscal union will give us a more stable union, and, of course, we are far from the end, but we have at least started. nothing is european union --
irrevacable. they did not want to go with all the 27 member state, at least they didn't want to go with the conditions accepted by the other 26. of course, the answer to the situation couldn't be wait and see. it could not be either just patching the problems with the tools that we had. this would not have corrected the crisis, and it would not have been responsible. the answer had to be different, and that's the reason why we have decided to go for a new treaty where the vast majority of all 27 members of the union would join, at least the 17 members of the eurozone. ladies and gentlemen, this is the very day where 20 years ago
we created the european monetary union with the mastery's treaty. we are opening today a new path. the european monetary union will be strengthened by this new treaty, and the benefit of treaty should be ready in march and should be ratified by the different member states of parliament. the institutions of the european union will have a stronger role, especially the european commission and the european court of justice. this will allow us to have a much tighter collaboration with all 27 member states. 28 with the new one. the european parliament also will br participating from the very beginning for sending observers during the process that will create this new treaty
. every european member state who wishes can join this new treaty. we want to make sure that as soon as possible this new treaty will be translated in new government rule, and therefore, we'll have a new treaty with stronger -- i really regreat that great brain tat decided not to -- britain decided not to join us, and i regret also great britain 20 years ago decide not to join the euro, but for me, it is absolutely true that great britain in the future will remain a very important partner in the european union. [applause] >> translator: great britain is not only important for foreign affairs and the security
of europe. great britain is a partner in many other fields, in the competitive sector, single market, for trade, in the protection of the environment, and we've just seen how important they were in durbin on this last subject. great britain has a huge interest as the euro overcomes its debt crisis. it won't happen overnight. the federal government already said it. the debt crisis will not be cured by a magic bullet. this magic bullet does not exist. there is no quick and simple solution. overcoming this debt crisis is very hard, and i will repeat it. it's a process. it will not last for months. it will has for year -- last for years. in